Teenage cancer survivior from Penarth launches appeal to help grant more lifetime wishes to critically ill children - after meeting cast of TOWIE
10:06am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A TEENAGE cancer survivor from Penarth is launching a new initiative locally to help grant lifetime wishes to more children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions – after her own wish was made true.
Hayley Stroud has called the scheme Bake-A-Wish and hopes to inspire members of the community to get behind Make-A-Wish Foundation UK who organised for her to meet the cast of The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE).
Diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma following a routine medical to secure a Visa ahead of a move to Australia with her family in 2011, Stanwell School student Hayley met Joey Essex, James ‘Arg’ Argent, Mick Norcross, Lauren Pope and others from the popular ITV show at iconic Brentwood hotspot The Sugar Hut.
Hayley was also treated to an overnight stay in a top London hotel, chauffeur driven limousines, and a sightseeing tour of the Capital, including a trip up the London Eye.
She called the experience “a dream come true”.
“It was amazing,” said the 15-year-old. “Joey Essex even treated us to lunch and invited us to go see his flat.
“We ended up at Arg’s house, and met his mum!”
Hayley’s mum, Sarah, said it was a day they would never forget.
“The TOWIE cast were all very sweet and down to earth, and spoilt Hayley rotten.
“She was like a kid meeting Mickey Mouse at Disney Land.
“If I live to 100 I will never forget the look on her face when Joey walked in the room.”
To give back, Hayley she hopes to encourage people to hold a cake bake at school, work or even for friends.
She has received backing from CBBC, children’s TV, presenter Katy Ashworth.
Katy, who is supporting the campaign, said: “I helped to grant a wish to a little girl called Ella, in July, and saw first-hand just how magical a wish is for a poorly child and their family.
“Bake-A-Wish is such a simple initiative to get involved with, yet it’ll make a huge difference to Make-A-Wish and help them to grant more wishes to children just like Ella and Hayley.”
Make-A-Wish has pledged to grant more than 1,000 wishes in 2013, but needs to raise £7 million to achieve this and received no funding or grants.
For more information about Bake-A-Wish or to support the scheme, visit http://www.make-a-wish.org.uk/bake/ or call 01276 40 50 80.
PANEL IF POSSIBLE (SEPARATE STORY IF NOT)
Last year Sarah held a successful ball and auction at the Masonic Hall in Penarth to raise money for the Cardiff Teenage Cancer Trust, where Hayley was treated.
She is holding the event again this year, on Saturday October 5.
Sarah said: “Last year was so successful and we are hoping to smash last year’s final amount of £6,661. The funds were used to provide the teenage patients with Kindles and iPads and they also used some of the monies to fund a reflexologist. None of this would be possible without private donations.”
She said the response so far from the Penarth business community had been “overwhelming”, with raffle prize donations from Lush Butchers, Ocho Lounge, Bar 44, Boots in Cardiff Bay, B&Q, Barons Court, Dear Doris, Barnums, Source of Beauty, Beauty Within, Tutti Fruiti, holistic therapist Claire Viader , Windsor Gifts, Spar Stores, Majestic Wines, Fine Wines Direct, and Costa Coffee.
Her fundraising team are adding to the list daily.
Among the items for auction is a ball signed by the Wales rugby team, a Cardiff Blues hospitality box, with signed shirt, an Ospreys signed shirt and ball, and golfing at The Vale Resort.
“I have been very lucky to have a great fundraising team helping me to secure some great prizes which will ensure that the evening is successful and that we raise as much money as possible,” Sarah added.
There are a couple of tables left which can be split or purchased as a table of ten.
Tickets are priced at £40 each and all proceeds go to the Teenage Cancer Unit, University Hospital Wales
To purchase a ticket or donate a prize contact Sarah on 07795 388104.